Pakistan, Uzbekistan keen to enhance bilateral trade relations

ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Trade and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood is leading a delegation to the Republic of Uzbekistan to attend the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on Trade and Economic Affairs.

Apart from Dawood, the delegation includes officials from the Ministry of Commerce and other relevant ministries and departments. The visit was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Dr. Sardor Umurzakov, September 10, 2020.

The first meeting of the Joint Working Group on Trade and Economic Affairs and the Trilateral Working Group on the Implementation of the Trans-Afghan Railway Project will be held between 1 February 2021 and 4 February 2021. He called Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and discussed the issues related to economic cooperation between the two countries. He also met with Adkham Ikramov, President of the Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and discussed cooperation with him in the textile, leather and engineering sectors.

At the 1st meeting of the Joint Working Group, both sides expressed their desire to improve bilateral trade relations between the two countries. In this context, the two sides discussed the issues of streamlining bilateral phytosanitary standards, developing banking cooperation, working on rail and road connection, and establishing a non-port terminal. The two sides were determined to sign a preferential trade agreement (PTA). During the meeting, it was emphasized that the private sector is indispensable in bilateral trade, so the two parties decided to cooperate in the maritime, textile, engineering and information sectors. The Uzbek side invited the Pakistani business delegation to organize a Mixed Exhibition in Tashkent in June 2021. Both sides discussed the possibility of establishing a Joint Cargo Company by the private sector, which could alleviate connectivity problems. The two sides also discussed to revitalize the Joint Business Council and assured more frequent bilateral talks, such as the Intergovernmental Commission.

Pakistan has deep common historical links with Uzbekistan, especially in terms of culture, arts, crafts and traditions. Cities such as Samarkand and Bukhara have been centers of Islamic civilization and learning. Diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan were established in 1991 when it gained independence from the Soviet Union. Both countries are members of the Islamic Cooperation Organization, the Economic Cooperation Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

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